Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book Recommendation

In an essay in his just-published Natural Experiments of History, Jared Diamond puts the question the way you want it to be asked – comparatively. He examines the histories of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the two halves of the island of Hispaniola, the first place Columbus stopped in the New World. Natural Experiments is an exemplary book, short and graceful, conveying a broad swathe of the most interesting work going on today around the world in departments of economics, political science and anthropology, under the heading of comparative political economy. The story of Haiti is especially compelling.

- David Warsh

Jared Diamond's Natural Experiments of History- podcast

* Prologue: Natural Experiments of History
Jared Diamond and James A. Robinson

1. Controlled Comparison and Polynesian Cultural Evolution
Patrick V. Kirch
2. Exploding Wests: Boom and Bust in Nineteenth-Century Settler Societies
James Belich
3. Politics, Banking, and Economic Development: Evidence from New World Economies
Stephen Haber
4. Intra-Island and Inter-Island Comparisons
Jared Diamond
5. Shackled to the Past: The Causes and Consequences of Africa's Slave Trades
Nathan Nunn
6. Colonial Land Tenure, Electoral Competition, and Public Goods in India
Abhijit Banerjee and Lakshmi Iyer
7. From Ancien Régime to Capitalism: The Spread of the French Revolution as a Natural Experiment, Daron Acemoglu, Davide Cantoni, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson
* Afterword: Using Comparative Methods in Studies of Human History
Jared Diamond and James A. Robinson

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